Saturday, August 13, 2011

Story begets story begets story...

The house was hopping and the stories running hot at Daylesford. Annie had three storytellers and two musicians staying at her place this weekend, so we shared champagne, red ned and a little whisky, along with the stories and music until late at night.

Jackie Kerin, Mattheo and Jan (Yarn)Wozinksky arrived at the Daylesford Courthouse for their panel discussion on "An afternoon in conversation with ..." Annie led the discussion and Jan (Yarn) was first up talking about what brought him to story - his mixed Scottish and Czech heritage, his history with the Bushwackers Band and the stories he collected in NT from Bill Harney Jnr. All this was accompanied by his banjo and ballads. Jackie followed and chatted about her time as a dreamer, when she was small, and training at NIDA, then hilarious stories about working on ads for Bunnings and, to quote Jackie, 'stuff I wouldn't want to eat.' In fact Jackie has a wide and diverse acting history, but when I first met her, about 15 years ago in Melbourne she was just starting out as a storyteller. She also demonstrated her 'Split Dog' stories on the kamishibi, a traditional Japanese story theatre.

Mattheo's story was fascinating too - his early work as a set designer building hugh sets and props, his work with theatre in Melbourne and Bryon Bay and lots of anecdotes about being a street performer and the way storytelling creates pictures in your head. Mattheo tells 'wonder tales' and that is how it is - wondrous, taking the listener on a wild and hilarious journey with ogres, fools and princesses. It was a great afternoon.

Later that night, back at Annies we all told tales to the camera so that Annie could put them together for the Guild Blog. It was great fun, sitting by her fireplace, trying to work the lights and camera, but mostly just telling and laughing and encouraging each other to look right at the camera. Story beget story beget story - that's the way it goes. It is how stories have moved all around the world, survived, thrived, changed and morphed - but mostly kept on moving, mouth to ear, breath to breath, heart to heart.

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